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Lieutenant Theodore Laidley, a West Point graduate whose army career spanned forty years until his retirement as a colonel in 1882, was a young officer during the Mexican War. Like so many of his fellow soldiers he wrote long letters home describing new and unusual sights and events. His letters home to his father in Virginia begin on August 23, 1845 (from Watervliet Arsenal, New York) and end on May 13, 1848 (from Mexico City). They reveal the horrors of the battlefield, his low opinion of volunteer soldiers, the jealousy over promotions within the officer corps, and continued concerns over his own physical and spiritual health.
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